Tag Archives: Easter

Easter greetings reveal plenty

Make no mistake about it: The differences between Joe Biden and the man he succeeded as president of the United States were on full display in the respective Easter greetings the two men sent out today.

President Biden’s message was full of hope, given the nature of the Christian holiday, commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. “As we reflect today on Christ’s Resurrection, we are reminded that with faith, hope, and love — even death can be defeated,” the president tweeted. “From our family to yours, we wish you hope, health, joy, and the peace of God, which passes all understanding. Happy Easter and may God bless and keep you.”

Biden and Trump release very different Easter messages (msn.com)

Then came this from Donald J. Trump, who used his Easter message to launch an attack on New York Attorney General Letitia James: “May she remain healthy despite the fact that she will continue to drive business out of New York while at the same time keeping crime, death, and destruction in New York!” reads a message from Trump’s Save America political action committee, which also calls James a “racist.”

Wow! Enough said.


Numbskull preachers need to get a grip

I hate speaking ill of men and women of the cloth … but the religious numbskulls around the country who are defying “stay at home” orders to celebrate Easter need to have their heads examined.

I won’t mention their hearts, because they must think their hearts are in the right place by flinging open their church doors on Easter.

These individuals claim to be trumpeting their “God-given right” to conduct worship services in churches full of parishioners. How does one cope with such nonsense?

They have no right given by the Almighty to put others in jeopardy while we are in the midst of a fight against COVID-19, the strain of coronavirus that has killed tens of thousands of Americans.

Local officials have issued orders that limit gatherings of human beings; they are instructing us to maintain proper “social distance” from each other to stem the rate of infection during this worldwide pandemic.

That hasn’t stemmed the idiocy coming from some of these religious crackpots. They proclaim the First Amendment guarantee of religious freedom allows them to conduct these services, even though health officials issue dire warnings of the consequences of flouting these restrictions.

Well … the First Amendment makes no guarantee of anyone’s right to jeopardize the health — and the lives — of other human beings.

Scripture reminds us as well that we can pray without ceasing anywhere we wish. We do not need to sit in a church pew to celebrate Easter. We are fully able to do that very thing in our living rooms.

Thus, the religious goofballs are off their rocker by insisting that their parishioners must flock to church on Easter.

POTUS wishes us a ‘happy’ what?

What’s next from Donald J. Trump? Oh, he might decide to wish us a “Happy Pearl Harbor Day.” Or, maybe it’ll be a “Happy 9/11.”

Today, the president of the United States, sent out a Twitter greeting that said: “HAPPY GOOD FRIDAY TO ALL!”

This, of course, comes from the individual who once cited a New Testament passage from “Two Corinthians.” 

OK, for Christians around the world, Good Friday is not a day to be, um, “celebrated.” It marks the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. That’s in the Bible, too, Mr. President. The Gospels tell us about that terrible event.

The happiness arrived three days later when, according to Scripture, they went to the tomb where Jesus’s body was interred … and he wasn’t there.

Easter is Christianity’s most joyous day, Mr. President. It’s when we celebrate Jesus’s resurrection. It gives us faith in an eternal life that awaits Christians.

But … what does it matter to this fellow? You see, the evangelical leadership will look straight past this president’s Biblical ignorance.


Don’t heed the calls of wacky preachers

The reports are coming out around the country about wacky preachers deciding to forgo the warnings about the coronavirus pandemic.

They’re going to open their church sanctuaries wide for worshipers on Easter. They’re nuts. What’s more, so are the parishioners who listen to them and pour into churches, sitting next to their fellow parishioners … and exposing themselves and others to potential exposure to the deadly virus.

Let’s see, it’s killed 9,000-plus Americans, infected nearly a half-million of us. The numbers are climbing steadily. Governors are telling us to stay home, imploring us to employ “social distancing,” seeking all manner of ways to stem the infection that is ravaging the nation.

In spite of all that, we hear now that some preachers are wanting to fill their church pews on Christianity’s holiest day.

How in the name of brotherly love can they do this?

My wife and I are staying home for Easter. I might take a moment that day to say a prayer reaffirming the faith I have followed since I was a little boy. I also might offer a prayer of thanks to our pastor who is employing some Earthly common sense and keeping our church closed to in-person worship on Easter.

To those who might consider endangering themselves or others in this perilous time, think long and hard about the potential danger that awaits you.

Trump wants to fill church pews before virus is eradicated

This is a tough message to deliver, but I’ll do so anyway.

Donald Trump could be complicit in the deaths of potentially thousands of Americans if churches across the country open their doors for worshipers on Easter. Why? Because there is no way in the world that the worldwide coronavirus pandemic will be over by then.

And yet the president of the United States is calling on the United States to get back to its “normal” living and he has targeted Easter as the date when that should happen. That’s a “beautiful deadline,” Trump has said. He wants church sanctuaries to fill up with worshipers on Easter. Yep … go ahead and cram yourselves into those pews, sitting right next to someone who might carry the virus.

Ah, but here’s the good news: The president has virtually no actual power to mandate such a dangerous, reckless and thoughtless order. That power rests in the hands of governors, who have the authority to resist calls to allow churches and other houses of worship — as well as schools and assorted businesses — to reopen.

However, should a governor be foolish enough to follow the president’s lead, then they, too, would join Trump in his complicity in the deaths of possibly thousands of Americans.

Donald Trump is fixated on the nation’s economy. He needs to focus at least as much attention on the safety, health and well-being of those he swore an oath to protect against all enemies. Hasn’t he called the coronavirus an “invisible enemy”? Well, yes he has.

The president is neglecting the oath he took. I’d say he “should be ashamed,” except that this clown has no shame.

Easter is perfect holiday to note rebirth of cathedral

There’s symmetry to be found in the tragedy that struck the Cathedral of Notre Dame in the middle of Paris, France.

Think of it. The fire broke out during Holy Week, which Christians celebrate Easter, the most joyous holiday on their calendar. Easter symbolizes the emergence from darkness, brought on by the death of Jesus Christ.

The holiday celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. Christians sing joyful hymns in church and welcome the rebirth brought on by the spring season.

The Cathedral of Notre Dame was damaged heavily by fire. French government officials vow to rebuild the iconic structure.

What many of us find fascinating is the survival of the crucifix in the cathedral’s sanctuary. Pictures of it seem to glow amid the rubble left by the blaze.

So the rebuilding will commence . . . eventually. French fire investigators need to determine the cause of the fire. What is left of the structure needs to be assessed and it needs to be determined how much of it can be saved. Initial reports indicate the structure is sound enough to withstand reconstruction.

How much better can it get than that, albeit given the tragic fire that has scarred this iconic holy building?

The world will await the resurrection of the heavily damaged Cathedral of Notre Dame. The more I think about it, the symbolism of the church’s pending rebirth juxtaposed with the timing of the event that brought so much misery could hardly be more perfect.

Thinking positively on Easter

I’ve made a command decision with regard to this blog.

I am choosing on this joyous day — Easter — to post exclusively positive thoughts. I mean, this is Christendom’s holiest day. It gives us hope and it deepens our faith in salvation, which is the very basis for Christians’ faith.

I am not entirely certain how many posts will go out on this day. I just wanted to declare that I won’t publish a negative word all day.

After all, the sun rose this morning. It’s a beautiful start to the day on the Texas High Plains.

The normal cycle of rants and complaints — along with, perhaps, a positive thought or two — will resume on High Plains Blogger when the sun rises Monday morning.

Happy Easter.

Secular can mix with the holy


I had an interesting conversation this morning with a young friend, who told me about someone with whom she is close who doesn’t allow her children to celebrate Christmas in a secular fashion.

Why? Well, my friend said, this other person and her husband are devout Christians and want to respect the holy nature of the holiday, which is to celebrate the birth of Jesus. She said they believe allowing the children to climb onto Santa’s lap at the mall and ask him for Christmas gifts takes away from the holiday’s spiritual meaning.

Fine, I said. “But I don’t believe there’s any exclusivity involved here,” I added. My friend agreed.

“You can celebrate both,” I said. Again, she agreed.

I’ll add here that I also believe in both the biblical version of the world’s creation and in evolution. Moreover, the Bible tells us that God created humankind through Adam and Eve, who then produced two sons. As far as I can tell, the Old Testament doesn’t specify that he created only Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel — and left it at that.

My friend did add, though, a rather ironic twist to the tale, which is that the family she mentioned celebrates Halloween, allowing the kids to dress up in costume and go scarf up all the candy they can carry.

I’ll add this thought.

The Jesus I’ve read about in the Bible cherished children and wanted nothing but happiness for them. My sense is that he would approve of a Santa Claus-based celebration — as long as Mom and Dad made sure they understood as well the real intent of the holiday. He might even approve of Halloween and, oh yes, the Easter Bunny.

I am now open to any comments you might have on this subject.

Feel free to weigh in.


Remembering good old Christmas days

This feeling of reflection is hard to shake this time of year.

Allow me another remembrance I hope resonates with others who come from big, boisterous families.

Christmas often — not every year, mind you — brought the Kanelis side of my family together for Christmas dinner and revelry at my grandparents’ house at 703 N.E. Beech Street in Portland, Ore. It was a wondrous time, made possible by a very matriarchal grandmother who was the glue that held our family together.

She and my grandfather produced seven children. My father was the oldest of their brood. Of those seven kids, five of them produced children of their own. They totaled 12 first cousins. One of my aunts married a man with three children, so we acquired three more cousins via marriage, making 15 all together.

One of my uncles was away most of our time growing up, serving in the Army, where he retired eventually in 1970 as a full-bird colonel. Every so often, he and my aunt would make an appearance at one of these family gatherings.

And on rare occasions, my maternal grandmother — my mother’s mother, my “Yiayia,” about whom I’ve written on this blog — would attend one of these events. Now that was a treat, as she would regale my paternal grandfather with off-color stories and have him and our aunts and uncles in stitches.

My Grandma Kanelis — Katina was her name — was an old-country cook of the first order. She was a Greek immigrant who cooked everything from scratch. Easter dinners always included a lamb, as in the entire animal, butchered and hanging from tenterhooks in the basement. Turkey was the main course at Christmas.

We’d laugh until we hurt. The cousins would run through the house, and around the yard (weather permitting, of course) and we would gather around a very large table in the dining room to enjoy the meal my grandmother had prepared.

My aunts would sing Christmas carols — loudly and mostly pretty well.

We’d all tell other that we needed to do a better job of staying in touch. But as with most large families, sometimes you did and sometimes, well, things got in the way and you wouldn’t see each other until Grandma invited us all over for the next big family gathering.

We didn’t do this every Christmas, but often enough to leave a lasting impression at least on me — and I’ll presume on other members of my family. I know my sisters remember those times.

That all came to an end in September 1968. Grandma suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized. She was set to come home after being treated — and then her heart quit. She was just 72 years of age when she died and as I tell folks today, 72 is “sounding younger all the time.”

The glue had been peeled away.

Ours was like many families that featured strong women. Indeed, my maternal grandmother — who I’ve mentioned already here — also filled that role. She would live another 10 years after Grandma Kanelis died.

Christmas has this way of bringing back memories such as these. I will cherish them forever.

My advice for others who have similar memories is to do the same. Believe me, they’ll make you smile.